On 13 August 2007, FIMBank plc announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Banco Latinoamericano de Exportaciones, S.A. (Bladex) of the Republic of Panama to establish a joint-venture company which would offer full factoring services to companies, banks and other financial institutions in Latin America, with both international and domestic coverage.
Bladex is a supranational bank originally established by the Central Banks of Latin American and Caribbean countries to promote trade finance in the Region. Based in Panama, its shareholders include central banks and state-owned entities in 23 countries in the Region, as well as Latin American and international commercial banks and institutional and retail investors.
Jaime Rivera, Chief Executive Officer of Bladex, stated, “This agreement with a world-class partner in FIMBank is further evidence of Bladex’s evolving trade finance franchise. With FIMBank’s expertise in factoring, coupled with Bladex’s knowledge of Latin America and distribution capabilities, this joint venture will allow Bladex to offer a greater range of trade finance-related products and further diversify its revenue streams.”
Margrith Lutschg-Emmenegger, President of FIMBank, stated, “We are extremely honored to partner with Bladex to launch the factoring product to Latin American countries under the most professional standards. Factoring is the fastest growing trade finance product, outperforming all other instruments in international as well as domestic trade, especially with regards to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME’s), a very important sector that supports and benefits the global economy.”
The factoring business offers an attractive growth opportunity for FIMBank and Bladex in Latin America as companies seek to translate discounted receivables into improved cash flow.